“Thank God we took a mule with us on the picnic because when one of the boys was injured we used the mule to carry him back.”

“How did he get injured?”

“The mule kicked him.”

Drop Self-Caused Suffering

After reading the story please look back into your life. And see how many of your misery are self-created. If you are just spectator then you will realize that most of our miseries are self-created.

Time has come to Take Charge of yourself. Generally when we say Take Charge we are actually defining the obstacles. Taking Charge means when our focus is on the decision we take and what will be the outcome of our decisions. This will be the first step towards creating happiness and joy in our life instead of misery.

Alos many of life’s difficulties are out of your control. You can’t control the weather, the genes you were born with, diseases that have no cure, or the fact that you are getting older.

For the most part, you can’t control the actions of other adults, though you may have influence. And, in the words of the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want. 

But you can learn to stop any misery you might be inflicting on yourself. I like the way this idea is expressed in The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. In highly over-simplified soundbites, the Four Noble Truths can be summarized as follows:

1. There is a lot of suffering in life. Some unhappiness and misery is inevitable.

2. You may be causing some of your suffering.

3. You can stop causing your own suffering!

4. Once you cease to create your own suffering, you are more likely to live a good life, one in harmony with your deepest values and goals.

Learning from Mule Kicked: Drop Self-Caused Suffering

Experience Learning

How might you possibly be harming yourself? While humans make themselves suffer in many ways, here are 10 common sources of self-caused suffering, which dubbed “Misery-Makers,” along with 10 suggestions for stopping:

Misery-Maker 1: Inventing and dwelling upon painful inner dramas that have little or no basis in fact.

Examples: “There was a fiery crash on the interstate. My wife might have been in that. What would I do if she died?” “The way he reacted to me yesterday must mean that he doesn’t really love me, despite what he says.” “If my boss fires me, I’ll never be able to find another job and will end my life in dire poverty.”

Having a vivid imagination is such a wonderful thing—except when it isn’t. Unless you are writing a novel or a screenplay, using your imagination to spin tales that are outrageous, hurtful, or even horrifying can be harmful to your sanity and peace of mind. The stories you tell yourself can take on a life of their own, becoming an unending source of anger, self-pity, anxiety, or just plain misery.

How to stop the misery: When your fantasies threaten to ruin your emotional health, neutralize them by murmuring these words: “Just thoughts.” Realizing that your fantasies are not realities will help you separate from them, as if standing to one side. Then, give your mind another job to do, such as to focus on your breathing or to think about a plan for the day. If you are worrying over a problem that actually could arise in the future, make a realistic plan and write it down.

Misery-Maker 2: Judging yourself in a harsh way.

Examples: “Why do you always say the wrong thing?” “Why can’t you lose weight?” “What’s wrong with you?”

No, it’s not your worst enemy saying that; it’s your own critical inner voice. It’s shocking how cruel we can be to ourselves. If you have a critical inner voice that is constantly judging and blaming you, notice it (how could you not?) but don’t believe it. Your self-talk is not the truth—it’s “just thoughts.”

How to stop the misery: Replace negative self-talk with realistic and positive self-talk. For example, “Whether I lose weight or not, I am a worthwhile person who deserves love.” Practice self-compassion—be kind to yourself by softening your judgment and treating yourself like your own best friend.

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